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Texts & Translations: Marilyn Horne Song Competition

plus artist bios

ROGER QUILTER “O mistress mine” from Three Shakespeare Songs
Text by William Shakespeare

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear; your true love’s coming,
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting;
Journeys end in lovers’ meeting,
Every wise man’s son doth know.

What is love? ’tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty;
Youth’s a stuff will not endure

QUILTER “Now sleeps the crimson petal” from 3 Songs
Text by Alfred Tennyson

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The fire-fly wakens: waken thou with me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.

JOHANN-PAUL MARTINI “Plaisir d'amour”
Text by Jean Pierre Claris de Florian

Plaisir d'amour ne dure qu'un moment
The pleasure of love only lasts one moment;

Chagrin d'amour dure toute la vie,
The regret of love lasts one's whole life.

J'ai tout quitté pour l'ingrate Sylvie:
I left everything for the ungrateful Sylvie;

Elle me quitte, et prend un autre amant.
She leaves me and takes another lover.

Plaisir d'amour ne dure qu'un moment;
The pleasure of love only lasts one moment;

Chagrin d'amour dure toute la vie.
The regret of love lasts one's whole life.

Tant que cette eau coulera doucement
As long as this water flows softly

Vers ce ruisseau qui borde la prairie,
Toward this brook that borders the plain

Je t'aimerai, me répétoit Sylvie:
I will love you, repeated Sylvie to me.

L'eau coule encore; elle a changé pourtant,
The water still flows, she has changed however.

Plaisir d'amour ne dure qu'un moment;
The pleasure of love only lasts one moment;

Chagrin d'amour dure toute la vie.
The regret of love lasts one's whole life

FANNY MENDELSSOHN “Dein ist mein Herz” from Sechs Lieder
Text by Nikolaus Lenau

Dein ist mein Herz, mein Schmerz dein eigen,
Yours is my heart, my pain is your own

Und alle Freuden, die es sprengen,
and all the joy that blasts it;

Dein ist der Wald mit allen Zweigen,
yours is the forest, with all the branches,

 Den Blüten allen und Gesängen.
all the blossoms, and the songs.

Das Liebste, was ich mag erbeuten
The best prize that I may hope to carry off,

Mit Liedern, die mein Herz entführten,
with songs that captured my heart,

 Ist mir ein Wort, daß sie dich freuten,
is one word to me that they delighted you,

 Ein stummer Blick, daß sie dich rührten.
one mute glance, that they moved you.

DAMIEN SNEED, arr. “All Night, All Day”

All night, all day,
Angels watching over me, my Lord.

All night, all day,
Angels watching over me.

All night, all day.
Oh, angels watching over me, my Lord.

All night, all day.
Angels watching over me.

All night, all day.
Angels watching over me, my Lord.

All night, all day.
Angels watching over me.
Angels watching over me.
Angels watching over me.
Angels watching over me.

MANUEL PONCE “¡Aleluya!”
Text by Luis Gonzaga Urbina

Aleluya, aleluya,
Hallelujah, hallelujah

aleluya, alma mía!
Hallelujah, my soul!

Que en un himno concluya
That what was my elegy

mi doliente elegía:
Now ends in a hymn;

Ya me dijo: ¡Soy tuya!
She confessed: I am yours!

Ya le dije: ¡Eres mía!
I exclaimed: You are mine!

Y una voz encantada,
And an overjoyed voice

que de lejos venía,
that came from afar

me anunció la alborada,
announced- the light of day,

me gritó: ¡Ya es de día!
shouted: It is now day!

Todo es luz y belleza
What was once darkness and cold

lo que fue sombra fría;
is now beauty and light;

se apagó la Tristeza,
sadness has ended

se encendió la alegría.
joy is ignited!

Ya le dije: ¡Eres mía!
I told her: You are mine!

Ya me dijo: ¡Soy tuya!
She told me: I am yours!

-¡cuánto lux tiene el día!
How bright is the day

¡Aleluya, alma mía!
Hallelujah, my soul!

LORI LAITMAN “I was reading a scientific article” from Orange Afternoon Lover
Text by Margaret Atwood

They have photographed the brain
and here is the picture, it is full of
branches as I always suspected,

each time you arrive the electricity
of seeing you is a huge
tree lumbering through my skull, the roots waving.

It is an earth, its fibres wrap
things buried, your forgotten words
are graved in my head, an intricate

red blue and pink prehensile chemistry
veined like a leaf
network, or is it a seascape
with corals and shining tentacles.

I touch you, I am created in you
somewhere as a complex
filament of light

You rest on me and my shoulder holds

your heavy unbelievable
skull, crowded with radiant
suns, a new planet, the people
submerged in you, a lost civilization
I can never excavate:

my hands trace the contours of a total
universe, its different
colors, flowers, its undiscovered
animals, violent or serene

its other air
its claws

its paradise rivers

VÍTĚZSLAVA KAPRÁLOVÁ “Ruce” from Navzdy, Op. 12
Text by Jaroslav Seifert / Translation by James Harrington

Pět půlměsíčků bílých nehtů
Five crescents of white nails

líbal jsem zkroušený,
I kissed contrite,

zatím co hvězdy plné smoly
While the stars are full of bad luck

rudými žhnuly plameny.
The flames glowed red.

Svět padal s námi do propasti,
The world was falling with us into the abyss

já neslyšel jsem hran,
I didn't hear the edge

poslední pil jsem kapky vína,
I drank the last drops of wine

jež zbyly ještě v Kanaan.
Which were still left in Canaan.

Pět prstů ruky mé je lyra
The five fingers of my hand are a lyre

tichá a nesmělá,
Quiet and shy

chviličku lyra, chvilku hřeben,
One moment a lyre, one moment a comb,

vlasy ti spadly do čela.
Your hair fell on your forehead.

Do pěti prstů pláčem spolu,
Up to five fingers I cry together,

šeptáme zklamání,
We whisper disappointment

ale ten vesmír bílých nehtů
But that universe of white nails

svítí ti ještě na dlani.
It still shines on your palm.

HENRI DUPARC “Au pays où se fait la guerre”
Text by Pierre-Jules-Théophile Gautier / Translation by James Harrington

Au pays où se fait la guerre
In the land where there is war,

Mon bel ami s'en est allé ;
My handsome friend is gone;

Il semble à mon cœur désolé
It seems to my despondent heart

Qu'il ne reste que moi sur terre !
That only I remain on Earth!

En partant, au baiser d'adieu,
Leaving, at the farewell kiss,

Il m'a pris mon âme à ma bouche.
He took my soul from my mouth.

Qui le tient si longtemps, mon Dieu ?
Who is holding it so long, my God?

Voilà le soleil qui se couche,
Here comes the setting sun,

Et moi, toute seule en ma tour,
And I, all alone in my tower,

J'attends encore son retour.
I'm still waiting for his return.

CARLOS GUASTAVINO “Jardín antiguo” from Las nubes
Text by Luis Cernuda Bidón / Translation © Lorena Paz Nieto (Oxford)

Ir de nuevo al jardín cerrado,
To go again to the closed garden

Que tras los arcos de la tapia,
That behind the arches of the wall,

Entre magnolios, limoneros
Among the magnolias, the lemon trees,

Guarda el encanto de las aguas.
Holds the enchantment of the waters.

Oír de nuevo en el silencio
To hear again in the silence

Vivo de trinos y de hojas,
Alive with chirping and the leaves,

El susurro tibio del aire
The warm whisper of the wind

Donde las almas viejas flotan.
On which old souls are floating.

Ver otra vez el cielo hondo
To see again the deep sky,

A lo lejos, la torre esbelta
Far away, the slender tower

Tal flor de luz sobre las palmas:
Like a flower of light over the palm trees:

Las cosas todas siempre bellas.
Everything always beautiful.

Sentir otra vez, como entonces,
To feel again, like then,

La espina aguda del deseo,
The sharp thorn of desire,

Mientras la juventud pasada
As past youthfulness

Vuelve. Sueño de un dios sin tiempo.
Returns. A dream of a god without time.

IAN VENABLES “Easter Hymn” from Songs of Eternity and Sorrow Text by A.E Housman
If in that Syrian garden, ages slain, You sleep, and know not you are dead in vain, Nor even in dreams behold how dark and bright, Ascends in smoke and fire by day and night The hate you died to quench and could but fan, Sleep well and see no morning, son of man. But if, the grave rent and the stone rolled by, At the right hand of majesty on high You sit, and sitting so remember yet Your tears, your agony and bloody sweat, Your cross and passion and the life you gave, Bow hither out of heaven and see and save.
FRANZ SCUBERT “Ungeduld” from Die schöne Müllerin Text by Wilhelm Müller / Translation © Richard Wigmore (Oxford)
Ich schnitt’ es gern in alle Rinden ein, I should like to carve it in the bark of every tree, Ich grüb’ es gern in jeden Kieselstein, I should like to inscribe it on every pebble, Ich möcht’ es sä’n auf jedes frische Beet sow it in every fresh plot Mit Kressensamen, der es schnell verrät, with cress seed that would quickly reveal it; Auf jeden weissen Zettel möcht’ ich’s schreiben: I should like to write it on every scrap of white paper: Dein ist mein Herz, und soll es ewig bleiben. my heart is yours, and shall ever remain so. Ich möcht’ mir ziehen einen jungen Star, I should like to train a young starling Bis dass er spräch’ die Worte rein und klar, until it spoke the words, pure and clear; Bis er sie spräch’ mit meines Mundes Klang, until it spoke with the sound of my voice, Mit meines Herzens vollem, heissem Drang; with my heart’s full, ardent yearning. Dann säng’ er hell durch ihre Fensterscheiben: then it would sing brightly at her window: Dein ist mein Herz, und soll es ewig bleiben. my heart is yours, and shall ever remain so. Den Morgenwinden möcht’ ich’s hauchen ein, I should like to breathe it to the morning winds, Ich möcht’ es säuseln durch den regen Hain; and whisper it through the rustling grove. O, leuchtet’ es aus jedem Blumenstern! If only it shone from every flower; if only fragrant Trüg’ es der Duft zu ihr von nah und fern! scents could bear it to her from near and far. Ihr Wogen, könnt ihr nichts als Räder treiben? Waves, can you drive only mill-wheels? Dein ist mein Herz, und soll es ewig bleiben. My heart is yours, and shall ever remain so. Ich meint’, es müsst’ in meinen Augen stehen, I should have thought it would show in my eyes, Auf meinen Wangen müsst’ man’s brennen sehn, could be seen burning on my cheeks, Zu lesen wär’s auf meinem stummen Mund, could be read on my silent lips; I should have Ein jeder Atemzug gäb’s laut ihr kund; thought my every breath would proclaim it to her; Und sie merkt nichts von all’ dem bangen Treiben: but she notices none of these anxious signs: Dein ist mein Herz, und soll es ewig bleiben! my heart is yours, and shall ever remain so.
HENRI DUPARC  “Phidylé” Text by Charles-Marie-René Leconte de Lisle / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)
L'herbe est molle au sommeil sous les frais peupliers, The grass is soft for sleep beneath the cool poplars Aux pentes des sources moussues, On the banks of the mossy springs Qui, dans les prés en fleur germant par mille issues, That flow in flowering meadows from a thousand sources, Se perdent sous les noirs halliers. And vanish beneath dark thickets. Repose, ô Phidylé! Midi sur les feuillages Rest, O Phidylé! Noon on the leaves Rayonne, et t'invite au sommeil. Is gleaming, inviting you to sleep. Par le trèfle et le thym, seules, en plein soleil, By the clover and thyme, alone, in the bright sunlight, Chantent les abeilles volages. The fickle bees are humming. Un chaud parfum circule au détour des sentiers, A warm fragrance floats about the winding paths, La rouge fleur des blés s'incline, The red flowers of the cornfield droop; Et les oiseaux, rasant de l'aile la colline, And the birds, skimming the hillside with their wings, Cherchent l'ombre des églantiers. Seek the shade of the eglantine. Mais, quand l'Astre, incliné sur sa courbe éclatante, But when the sun, low on its dazzling curve, Verra ses ardeurs s'apaiser, Sees its brilliance wane, Que ton plus beau sourire et ton meilleur baiser Let your loveliest smile and finest kiss Me récompensent de l'attente! Reward me to for my waiting!  
PAULINE VIARDOT-GARCÍA “Les filles de Cadix”
Text by Louis Charles Alfred de Musset / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Nous venions de voir le taureau,
We’d just left the bullfight,

Trois garçons, trois fillettes.
Three boys, three girls,

Sur la pelouse il faisait beau,
The sun shone on the grass

Et nous dansions un boléro
And we danced a bolero

Au son des castagnettes:
To the sound of castanets.

«Dites-moi, voisin,
“Tell me, neighbour,

Si j'ai bonne mine,
Am I looking good,

Et si ma basquine
And does my skirt

Va bien, ce matin.
Suit me, this morning?

Vous me trouvez la taille fine?...
Have I a slender waist? . . .

Ah! ah!
Ah! Ah!

Les filles de Cadix aiment assez cela.»
The girls of Cadiz are fond of that.”

Et nous dansions un boléro
And we were dancing a bolero

Un soir, c'était dimanche.
One sunday evening.

Vers nous s'en vint un hidalgo
A hidalgo came towards us,

Cousu d'or, la plume au chapeau,
Glittering in gold, feather in cap,

Et le poing sur la hanche:
And hand on hip:

«Si tu veux de moi,
“If you want me,

Brune au doux sourire,
Dark beauty with the sweet smile,

Tu n'as qu'à le dire,
You’ve only to say so,

Cet or est à toi.
And these riches are yours.”

-- Passez votre chemin, beau sire...
Go on your way, fine sir.

Ah! Ah!
Ah! ah!

Les filles de Cadix n'entendent pas cela.»
The girls of Cadiz don’t take to that.

Et nous dansions un boléro,
And we were dancing a bolero

Au pied de la colline.
At the foot of the hill,

Sur le chemin passa Diégo,
Diego was passing by,

Qui pour tout bien n'a qu'un manteau
Who has no other clothes but a coat

Et qu'une mandoline:
And a mandolin:

«La belle aux doux yeux,
“Fair, gentle-eyed lady,

Veux-tu qu'à l'église
Would you like a jealous lover

Demain te conduise un amant jaloux?
To lead you to church tomorrow?

-- Jaloux ! jaloux ! quelle sottise !
Jealous, jealous, what folly!

Ah! ah!
Ah! ah!

Les filles de Cadix craignent ce défaut là!»
The girls of Cadiz fear this flaw!”

Text by Théodore de Banville / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Aimons-nous et dormons
Let us love and sleep

Sans songer au reste du monde!
Without a care for the rest of the world!

Ni le flot de la mer, ni l’ouragan des monts
Neither ocean waves not mountain storms,

Tant que nous nous aimons
While we still love each other,

Ne courbera ta tête blonde,
Can bow your golden head,

Car l’amour est plus fort
For love is more powerful

Que les dieux et la mort!
Than gods and death!

Le soleil s’éteindrait
The sun would extinguish its rays

Pour laisser ta blancheur plus pure,
To make your purity more pure,

Le vent qui jusqu’à terre incline la forêt,
The wind which inclines to earth the forest

En passant n’oserait
Would not in passing dare

Jouer avec ta chevelure,
To frolic with your hair,

Tant que tu cacheras
While you nestle

Ta tête entre mes bras!
Your head in my arms.

Et lorsque nos deux cœurs
And when our two hearts

S’en iront aux sphères heureuses
Shall ascend to paradise,

Où les célestes lys écloront sous nos pleurs,
Where celestial lilies shall open beneath our tears,

Alors, comme deux fleurs,
Then, like flowers,

Joignons nos lèvres amoureuses,
Let us join our loving lips

Et tâchons d’épuiser
And strive to exhaust

La mort dans un baiser!
Death in a kiss!

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF “Oh no, I beg you, forsake me not!” from Six Romances
Text by Dmitry Sergeyevich Merezhkovsky / Translation © by Anton Bespalov and Rianne Stam (LiederNet Archive)

О, нет, молю, не уходи!
O, no, I beg you, forsake me not!

Вся боль ничто перед разлукой,
All my pains are nothing compared to separation

Я слишком счастлив
I am only too fortunate

Этой мукой,
with that torment,

Сильней прижми меня к груди,
Press me tightly to your bosom

Скажи люблю.
and say you love me.

Пришёл я вновь,
I came anew

Больной, измученный и бледный.
full of pain, pale and exhausted.

Смотри, какой я слабый, бедный,
See how poor and weak I am,

Как мне нужна твоя любовь...
how I need your love...

Мучений новых впереди
The new torments ahead

Я жду как ласку, как поцелуя,
I await like a caress or kiss,

И об одном молю, тоскуя:
and again I beg you in anguish:

О, будь со мной, не уходи!
O stay with me, forsake me not!

LORI LAITMAN “Will There Really Be a Morning?” from Four Dickinson Songs
Text by Emily Dickinson

Will there really be a “Morning”?
Is there such a thing as “Day”?
Could I see it from the mountains
If I were as tall as they?

Has it feet like Water lilies?
Has it feathers like a Bird?
Is it brought from famous countries
Of which I have never heard?

Oh some Scholar! Oh some Sailor!
Oh some Wise Man from the skies!
Please to tell a little Pilgrim
Where the place called “Morning” lies!

ENRIQUE GRANADOS“¡Oh muerte cruel!” from La maja dolorosa
Text by Fernando Periquet / Translation by James Harrington

¡Oh muerte cruel!
Oh, cruel Death!

¿Por qué tú, a traición,
Why have you so pitilessly

mi majo arrebataste a mi pasión?
stolen my love from me?

¡No quiero vivir sin él,
I don’t want to live without him,

porque es morir, porque es morir
because it is death—it is truly death—

así vivir!
to live this way!

No es posible ya
It is no longer possible

sentir más dolor:
to feel pain greater than this:

en lágrimas deshecha ya mi alma está.
my soul is already shattered by tears.

¡Oh Dios, torna mi amor,
Oh God, return my love to me,

porque es morir, porque es morir
because it is death—it is truly death—

así vivir!
to live this way!

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS “Si vous n'avez rien à me dire”
Text by Victor Hugo / Translation © 2016 by Emily Ezust (LiederNet Archive)

Si vous n'avez rien à me dire,
If you have nothing to tell me,

Pourquoi venir auprès de moi?
Why do you come so close to me?

Pourquoi me faire ce sourire
Why do you make this smile

Qui tournerait la tête au roi?
That could turn a monarch's head?

Si vous n'avez rien à me dire,
If you have nothing to tell me,

Pourquoi venir auprès de moi?
Why do you come so close to me?

Si vous n'avez rien à m'apprendre,
If you have nothing to teach me,

Pourquoi me pressez-vous la main?
Why do you squeeze my hand?

Sur le rêve angélique et tendre,
Regarding this angelic and tender dream

Auquel vous songez en chemin,
You had on the train,

Si vous n'avez rien à m'apprendre,
If you have nothing to teach me,

Pourquoi me pressez-vous la main?
Why do you squeeze my hand?

Si vous voulez que je m'en aille,
If you wish me to go away,

Pourquoi passez-vous par ici?
Why do you pass by here?

Lorsque je vous vois, je tressaille:
When I see you, I quiver:

C'est ma joie et c'est mon souci.
It is my joy and it is my worry.

Si vous voulez que je m'en aille,
If you wish me to go away,

Pourquoi passez-vous par ici?
Why do you pass by here?

FRANZ LISZT “Die Loreley”
Text by Heinrich Heine / Translation © Uri Liebrecht (Oxford)

Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten
I do not know the reason why

Daß ich so traurig bin;
To sorrow I’m inclined.

Ein Märchen aus alten Zeiten
A story from the olden days

Das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.
Is preying on my mind.

Die Luft ist kühl und es dunkelt,
Light’s fading and the air is cool

Und ruhig fließt der Rhein;
And quiet flows the Rhine,

Der Gipfel des Berges funkelt
The mountain top’s still glowing

Im Abendsonnenschein.
As the sun’s last rays decline.

Die schönste Jungfrau sitzet
Seated up there, gorgeous,

Dort oben wunderbar,
A maid beyond compare,

Ihr goldnes Geschmeide blitzet,
Her golden jewellery glitters,

Sie kämmt ihr goldenes Haar.
She combs her golden hair.

Sie kämmt es mit goldenem Kamme
She combs it with a golden comb

Und singt ein Lied dabei,
And sings a song betimes,

Das hat eine wundersame,
A song with a strange melody,

Gewaltige Melodei.
With strange and powerful rhymes.

Den Schiffer im kleinen Schiffe
The boatman in his little boat,

Ergreift es mit wildem Weh,
Gripped by a savage love,

Er schaut nicht die Felsenrisse,
Does not see the rocky reef,

Er schaut nur hinauf in die Höh.
Sees only what’s above.

Ich glaube, die Wellen verschlingen
I think the waves consumed them,

Am Ende Schiffer und Kahn.
Boat and boatman, by and by.

Und das hat mit ihrem Singen
And that’s what, with her singing,

Die Lorelei getan.
Was done by Lorelei.

WILLIAM BOLCOM “George” from Cabaret Songs
Text by Arnold Weinstein

My friend George used to say
“Oh call me Georgia, hon,
get yourself a drink,”
and sang the best soprano
in our part of town.

In beads, brocade and pins,
he sang if you happened in
through the door he never locked
and said, “Get yourself a drink,”
and sang out loud
till tears fell in the cognac
and the choc’late milk and gin
and on the beads, brocade and pins.

When strangers happened through
his open door,
George said, “Stay,
but you gotta keep quiet
while I sing
and then a minute after.
And call me Georgia.”

One fine day a stranger in a suit
of navy blue
took George’s life with a knife
George had placed
beside an apple pie he’d baked
and stabbed him in the middle
of Un bel dí vedremo
as he sang
for this particular stranger
who was in the United States Navy.

The funeral was at the cocktail hour.
We knew George would like it like that.
Tears fell on the beads, brocade and pins
in the coffin which was white
because George was a virgin.

Oh call him Georgia, hon,
get yourself a drink.
“You can call me Georgia, hon,
get yourself a drink!”

XAVIER MONTSALVATGE “Cuba dentro de un piano” from Cinco Canciones Negras
Text by Rafael Alberti / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Cuando mi madre llevaba un sorbete de fresa por sombrero
When my mother wore a strawberry ice for a hat

y el humo de los barcos aún era humo de habanero.
and the smoke from the boats was still Havana smoke.

«Mulata vueltabajera …»
«Mulata from Vuelta Abajo»

Cádiz se adormecía entre fandangos y habaneras
Cadiz was falling asleep to fandango and habanera

y un lorito al piano quería hacer de tenor.
and a little parrot at the piano tried to sing tenor.

«… dime dónde está la flor que el hombre tanto venera.»
« tell me, where is the flower that a man can really respect. »

Mi tío Antonio volvía con su aire de insurrecto.
My uncle Anthony would come home in his rebellious way.

La Cabaña y el Príncipe sonaban por los patios del Puerto.
The Cabaña and El Príncipe resounded in the patios of the port.

(Ya no brilla la Perla azul del mar de las Antillas.
(But the blue pearl of the Caribbean shines no more.

Ya se apagó, se nos ha muerto.)
Extinguished. For us no more.)

«Me encontré con la bella Trinidad …»
«I met beautiful Trinidad»

Cuba se había perdido y ahora era verdad.
Cuba was lost, this time it was true.

Era verdad,

no era mentira.
and not a lie.

Un cañonero huido llegó cantándolo en guajira.
A gunner on the run arrived, sang Cuban songs about it all.

«La Habana ya se perdió.
«Havana was lost

Tuvo la culpa el dinero»
and money was to blame …»

The gunner went silent,

cayó el cañonero.
and fell.

Pero después, pero ¡ah! después
But later, ah, later

fue cuando al SÍ
they changed SÍ

lo hicieron YES.
to YES.

PYOTR IL’YICH TCHAIKOVSKY “It was in the early spring” from Six Romances
Text by Leo Tolstoy / Translation © Philip Ross Bullock (Oxford)

То было раннею весной,
It was in the early spring,

трава едва всходила,
The grass had barely begun to grow,

ручьи текли, не парил зной,
The streams were flowing, the air was mild,

и зелень рощ сквозила;
And the groves were flecked with green.

Труба пастушья поутру
The shepherd’s horn

ещё не пела звонко,
Did not yet ring out in the morning,

и в завитках ещё в бору,
And in the pinewood, the slender fern

был папоротник тонкий;
Was yet to unfurl itself fully;

То было раннею весной,
It was in the early spring,

в тени берёз то было,
It was in the shade of birch trees,

когда с улыбкой предо мной
When standing before me, smiling,

ты очи опустила...
You lowered your eyes…

То на любовь мою в ответ
It was in answer to my love

ты опустила вежды!
That you cast down your gaze –

О жизнь! о, лес! о, солнца свет!
Oh life! Oh woods! Oh sunlight!

О, юность! о, надежды!
Oh youth! Oh hopes!

И плакал я перед тобой,
And I shed tears before you,

на лик твой глядя милый;
Looking after your tender face –

то было раннею весной,
It was in the early spring,

в тени берёз то было!
It was in the shade of birch trees!

То было в утро наших лет!
It was in the morning of our days!

О, счастье! о слёзы!
O happiness! O tears!

о, лес! о, жизнь! о, солнца свет!
O woods! O life! O sunlight!

О, свежий дух берёзы!
O fresh scent of the birch tree

LIBBY LARSEN “Big Sister Says” from Love After 1950
Text by Kathryn Daniels

Beauty hurts, big sister says,
yanking a hank of my lanky hair
around black wire-mesh rollers
whose inside bristles prick my scalp
like so many pins. She says I’d better
sleep with them in.
She plucks, tweezes, glides razor
blades over tender armpit skin,
Slathers downy legs with stinking
depilatory cream, presses straight lashes
bolt upright with a medieval-looking
padded clamp. Looking good
hurts, Beryl warns. It’s hard work.

TCHAIKOVSKY None but the Lonely Heart from Six Romances
Text by Lev Aleksandrovich Mei, after Goethe / Translation © Philip Ross Bullock (Oxford)

Нет, только тот,
No, only one who has known

кто знал свиданья, жажду,
What it is to long for one’s beloved

поймёт, как я страдал
Can know how I have suffered

и как я стражду.
And how I suffer still.

Гляжу я вдаль...
I gaze into the distant – but my strength fails me,

нет сил, тускнеет око...
My sight grows dim…

Ах, кто меня любил
Ah, the one who loved me

и знал - далеко!
And knew me is far away now!

Ах, только тот,
My breast is all aflame – whoever has known

кто знал свиданья жажду,
What it is to long for one’s beloved

поймёт, как я страдал
Can know how I have suffered

и как я стражду.
And how I suffer still.

MONTSALVATGE Canto Negro from Cinco Canciones Negras
Text by Nicolás Guillén / Translation © Jacqueline Cockburn (Oxford)

¡Yambambó, yambambé!

Repica el congo solongo,
The congo solongo is ringing,

repica el negro bien negro.
the black man, the real black man is ringing;

congo solongo del Songo
congo solongo from the Songo

baila yambó sobre un pie.
is dancing the yambó on one foot.


serembé cuserembá,

El negro canta y se ajuma.
The black man sings and gets drunk,

el negro se ajuma y canta.
the black man gets drunk and sings,

el negro canta y se va.
the black man sings and goes away. 

Acuemem e serembó




Tamba, tamba, tamba, tamba,
Bam, bam, bam, bam,

tamba del negro que tumba,
bam of the black man who tumbles;

tamba del negro, caramba,
drum of the black man, wow,

caramba, que el negro tumba,
wow, how the black man's tumbling!

¡Yambá, yambó, yambambé!

Text by Stanislao Gastaldon / Translation © Antonio Giuliano (LiederNet)

Ogni sera di sotto al mio balcone
Underneath my balcony every evening

Sento cantar una canzone d'amore,
I hear a love-song,

Più volte la ripete un bel garzone
Repeated several times by a handsome young man

E battere mi sento forte il core.
And it makes my heart beat faster.

Oh quanto è dolce quella melodia!
O how sweet is that melody!

Oh com' è bella, quanto m' è gradita!
O how pretty, how I love to hear it!

Ch'io la canti non vuol la mamma mia:
My mother will not let me sing it,

Vorrei saper perché me l'ha proibita?
Though why she would forbid me, I don't know.

Ella non c'è  ed io la vo' cantare
Now that she is out I am going to sing

La frase che m'ha fatto palpitare:
The song that I found so exciting.

Vorrei baciare i tuoi capelli neri,
I'd like to kiss your raven hair,

Le labbra tue e gli occhi tuoi severi,
Your lips and your solemn eyes;

Vorrei morir con te, angel di Dio,
I would want to die with you, O heavenly angel,

O bella innamorata tesor mio.
My beautiful beloved, precious jewel.

Qui sotto il vidi ieri a passeggiare,
Yesterday I saw him walking by,

E lo sentiva al solito cantar:
And heard him sing as he always does:

Vorrei baciare i tuoi capelli neri,
I'd like to kiss your raven hair,

Le labbra tue e gli occhi tuoi severi!
Your lips and your solemn eyes!

Stringimi, o cara, stringimi al tuo core,
Clasp me, darling, clasp me to your heart,

Fammi provar l'ebbrezza dell'amor.
Let me feel the ecstasy of love!

JACQUES IBERT Chanson Romanesque from Don Quichotte à Dulcinée
Text by Paul Morand / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Si vous me disiez que la terre
Were you to tell that the earth

A tant tourner vous offensa,
Offended you with so much turning,

Je lui dépêcherais Pança:
I'd dispatch Panza to deal with it:

Vous la verriez fixe et se taire.
You'd see it still and silenced.

Si vous me disiez que l'ennui
Were you to tell me that you are wearied

Vous vient du ciel trop fleuri d'astres,
By a sky too studded with stars -

Déchirant les divins cadastres,
Tearing the divine order asunder,

Je faucherais d'un coup la nuit.
I'd scythe the night with a single blow.

Si vous me disiez que l'espace
Were you to tell me that space itself,

Ainsi vidé vous plaît point,
Thus denuded was not to your taste -

Chevalier dieu, la lance au poing,
As a god-like knight, with lance in hand,

J'étoilerais le vent qui passe.
I'd sow the fleeting wind with stars.

Mais si vous me disiez que mon sang
But were you to tell me that my blood

Est plus à moi qu'à vous, ma Dame,
Is more mine, my Lady, than your own,

Je blêmirais dessous le blâme
I'd pale at the admonishment

Et je mourrais, vous bénissant.
And, blessing you, would die.

O Dulcinée.
O Dulcinea.

Text by Lev Aleksandrovich Mei / Translation © Philip Ross Bullock (Oxford)

Отчего побледнела весной
Why has the sumptuous rose

пышноцветная роза сама?
Grown pale in spring?

Отчего под зелёной травой
Why is the blue violet so mute

голубая фиалка нема?
Under the green grass?

Отчего так печально звучит
Why does the little bird’s song

песня птички, несясь в небеса?
Sound so sad as it rises up to heaven?

Отчего над лугами висит
Why does the dew hang over the meadows

погребальным покровом роса?
Like a mourning veil?

Отчего в небе солнце с утра
Why is the morning sun in the sky

холодно и темно, как зимой?
Cold and dark, as in winter?

Отчего и земля вся сыра
Why is the earth so damp

и угрюмей могилы самой?
And gloomier than the grave itself?

Отчего я и сам все грустней
Why do I grow sadder

и болезненней день ото дня?
And sicker each day?

Отчего, о, скажи мне скорей ты,
Why, oh tell me why, did you leave me

покинув, забыла меня?
And forget me?

IBERT Chanson à boire from Don Quichotte à Dulcinée
Text by Paul Morand / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Foin du bâtard, illustre Dame,
A pox on the bastard, illustrious Lady,

Qui pour me perdre à vos doux yeux,
Who to discredit me in your sweet eyes,

Dit que l'amour et le vin vieux
Says that love and old wine

Mettent en deuil mon cœur, mon âme!
Are saddening my heart and soul!

Je bois à la joie!
I drink to joy!

La joie est le seul but
Joy is the only goal

Où je vais droit
To which I go straight…

Lorsque j'ai bu!
when I'm drunk!

Foin du jaloux, brune maîtresse,
A pox on the jealous wretch, O dusky mistress,

Qui geind, qui pleure et fait serment
Who whines and weeps and vows

D'être toujours ce pâle amant
Always to be this lily-livered lover

Qui met de l'eau dans son ivresse!
Who dilutes his drunkenness!

AMY WOODFORDE-FINDEN Till I Wake from 4 Indian Love Lyrics
Text by Laurence Hope

When I am dying, lean over me tenderly, softly,
Stoop, as the yellow roses droop in the wind from the South,
So I may when I wake, if there be an Awakening,
Keep, what lulled me to sleep, the touch of your lips on my mouth.

RICHARD STRAUSS Heimliche Aufforderung from Vier Lieder
Text by John Henry Mackay / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Auf, hebe die funkelnde Schale empor zum Mund,
Come, raise to your lips the sparkling goblet,

Und trinke beim Freudenmahle dein Herz gesund.
And drink at this joyful feast your heart to health.

Und wenn du sie hebst, so winke mir heimlich zu,
And when you raise it, give me a secret sign,

Dann lächle ich und dann trinke ich still wie du...
Then I shall smile, and drink as quietly as you ...

Und still gleich mir betrachte um uns das Heer
And quietly like me, look around at the hordes

Der trunknen Zecher -- verachte sie nicht zu sehr.
Of drunken gossips—do not despise them too much.

Nein, hebe die blinkende Schale, gefüllt mit Wein,
No, raise the glittering goblet, filled with wine,

Und laß beim lärmenden Mahle sie glücklich sein.
And let them be happy at the noisy feast.

Doch hast du das Mahl genossen, den Durst gestillt,
But once you have savoured the meal, quenched your thirst,

Dann verlasse der lauten Genossen festfreudiges Bild,
Leave the loud company of happy revellers,

Und wandle hinaus in den Garten zum Rosenstrauch,
And come out into the garden to the rose-bush,—

Dort will ich dich dann erwarten nach altem Brauch,
There I shall wait for you as I’ve always done.

Und will an die Brust dir sinken, eh du's gehofft,
And I shall sink on your breast, before you could hope,

Und deine Küsse trinken, wie ehmals oft,
And drink your kisses, as often before,

Und flechten in deine Haare der Rose Pracht.
And twine in your hair the glorious rose—

O komm, du wunderbare, ersehnte Nacht!
Ah! come, O wondrous, longed-for night!

JUDITH WEIR Lady Isobel and the Elf-Knight
Text Traditional Scottish

Fair Lady Isobel sits in her bower sewing,
There she heard the Elf-Knight blowing his horn.

'If I had yon horn that I hear blowing,
And yon Elf-Knight to sleep in my bosom.'

The maiden had scarcely these words spoken,
When in at her window the Elf-Knight has luppen.

'It's a very strange matter, fair maiden' said he,
'I canna blow my horn but ye call on me.

But will ye go to yon Greenwood side?
If ye canna gaing, I will cause you to ride'.

He leapt on a horse and she on another,
And they rode on to the greenwood together.

'Light down, light down, fair lady Isobel', said he,
'We are come to the place where you are to die'.

'Have mercy, have mercy kind sir on me,
Till once my dear father and mother I see'.

'Seven king's daughters here have I slain,
And you shall be the eighth of them'.

'O sit down a while, rest your head upon my knee,
That we may have some rest before I die'.

She stroked him so softly the nearer he did creep;
With a small secret charm she lulled him fast asleep.

With his own sword belt so softly she bound him;
With his own dagger so softly she killed him.

BENJAMIN BRITTEN At day-close in November from Winter Words
Text by Thomas Hardy

The ten hours' light is abating,
And a late bird wings across,
Where the pines, like waltzers waiting,
Give their black heads a toss.

Beech leaves, that yellow the noon-time,
Float past like specks in the eye;
I set every tree in my June time,
And now they obscure the sky.

And the children who ramble through here
Conceive that there never has been
A time when no tall trees grew here,
That none will in time be seen.

BRITTEN The Choirmaster’s Burial from Winter Words
Text by Thomas Hardy

He often would ask us
That, when he died,
After playing so many
To their last rest,
If out of us any
Should here abide,
And it would not task us,
We would with our lutes
Play over him
By his grave-brim
The psalm he liked best -
The one whose sense suits
"Mount Ephraim" -
And perhaps we should seem
To him, in Death's dream,
Like the seraphim.

As soon as I knew
That his spirit was gone
I thought this his due,
And spoke thereupon.
"I think," said the vicar,
"A read service quicker
Than viols out-of-doors
In these frosts and hoars.
That old-fashioned way
Requires a fine day,
And it seems to me
It had better not be."

Hence, that afternoon,
Though never knew he
That his wish could not be,
To get through it faster
They buried the master
Without any tune.

But 'twas said that, when
At the dead of next night
The vicar looked out,
There struck on his ken
Thronged roundabout,
Where the frost was graying
The headstoned grass,
A band all in white
Like the saints in church-glass,
Singing and playing
The ancient stave
By the choirmaster's grave.

Such the tenor man told
When he had grown old.

FRANCIS POULENC À toutes brides from Tel jour, telle nuit
Text by Paul Éluard / Translation © Christopher Goldsack

À toutes brides toi dont la fantôme
At full tilt you whose phantom

Piaffe la nuit sur un violon
paws upon a violin at night

Viens régner dans les bois.
come to reign in the woods

Les verges de l'ouragan
the lashings of the hurricane

Cherchent leur chemin par chez toi
search for their path around you

Tu n'es pas des celles
you are not of those

Dont on invente les désirs.
whose desires one invents

Viens boire un baiser par ici
come and drink a kiss over here

Cède au feu qui te désespère.
surrender to the fire which drives you to despair.

POULENC Nous avons fait la nuit from Tel jour, telle nuit
Text by Paul Éluard / Translation © Christopher Goldsack

Nous avons fait la nuit je tiens ta main je veille2
We have turned off the light I hold your hand I keep watch

Je te soutiens de toutes mes forces
I support you with all my strength

Je grave sur un roc l'étoile de tes forces
I engrave the star of your strengths on a rock

Sillons profonds où la bonté de ton corps germera
deep furrows in which the goodness of your body will germinate

Je me répète ta voix cachée ta voix publique
I repeat your hidden voice your public voice

Je ris encore de l'orgueilleuse
I laugh still of the haughty woman

Que tu traite comme une mendiante
whom you treat like a beggar

Des fous que tu respectes des simples où tu te baignes
of the fools whom you respect of the simple folk in whom you immerse yourself

Et dans ma tête qui se met doucement d'accord avec la tienne avec la nuit
and in my head which harmonizes gently with yours with the night

Je m'émerveille de l'inconnue que tu deviens
I marvel at the strange woman that you are becoming

Une inconnue semblable à tout ce que j'aime
a strange woman resembling all that I love

Qui est toujours nouveau.
who is always new.

ROBERT SCHUMANN Im wunderschönen Monat Mai from Dichterliebe
Text by Heinrich Heine / Translation by James Harrington

Im wunderschönen Monat Mai,
In the magical month of May,

Als alle Knospen sprangen,
When all the buds were blooming,

Da ist in meinem Herzen
It was then that into my heart

Die Liebe aufgegangen.
Love rushed in.

Im wunderschönen Monat Mai,
In the magical month of May,

Als alle Vögel sangen,
When all the birds were singing,

Da hab ich ihr gestanden
It was then that I confessed to her

Mein Sehnen und Verlangen.
My yearning and desire.

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS The Roadside Fire from Songs of Travel
Text by Robert Louis Stevenson

I will make you brooches and toys for your delight
Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night,
I will make a palace fit for you and me
Of green days in forests, and blue days at sea.

I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room,
Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom;
And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white
In rainfall at morning and dewfall at night.

And this shall be for music when no one else is near,
The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear!
That only I remember, that only you admire,
Of the broad road that stretches and the roadside fire

FRANZ LISZT I’ vidi in terra angelici costume from Tre sonetti di Petrarca
Text by Petrarch / Translation by A.S. Kline

I' vidi in terra angelici costumi,
I saw angelic virtue on earth

E celesti bellezze al mondo sole;
and heavenly beauty on terrestrial soil,

Tal che di rimembrar mi giova, e dole:
so I am sad and joyful at the memory,

Che quant'io miro, par sogni, ombre, e fumi.
and what I see seems dream, shadows, smoke:

E vidi lagrimar que' duo bei lumi,
and I saw two lovely eyes that wept,

Ch'han fatto mille volte invidia al sole;
that made the sun a thousand times jealous:

Ed udì' sospirando dir parole
and I heard words emerge among sighs

Che farian gir i monti, e stare i fiumi.
that made the mountains move, and halted rivers.

Amor! senno! valor, pietate, e doglia
Love, Judgement, Pity, Worth and Grief,

Facean piangendo un più dolce concento
made a sweeter chorus of weeping

D'ogni altro, che nel mondo udir si soglia.
than any other heard beneath the moon:

Ed era 'l cielo all'armonia s'intento
and heaven so intent upon the harmony

Che non si vedea in ramo mover foglia.
no leaf was seen to move on the boughs,

Tanta dolcezza avea pien l'aer e 'l vento.
so filled with sweetness were the wind and air.

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF Oh do not sing to me, my beauty from Six Romances
Text by Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin / Translation © Anton Bespalov (LiederNet)

Не пой, красавица, при мне
Do not sing, my beauty, to me

Ты песен Грузии печальной;
your sad songs of Georgia;

Напоминают мне оне
they remind me

Другую жизнь и берег дальний.
of that other life and distant shore.

Увы, напоминают мне
Alas, They remind me,

Твои жестокие напевы
your cruel melodies,

И степь, и ночь, и при луне
of the steppe, the night and moonlit

Черты далекой, бедной девы!
features of a poor, distant maiden!

Я призрак милый, роковой,
That sweet and fateful apparition

Тебя увидев, забываю;
I forget when you appear;

Но ты поёшь, и предо мной
but you sing, and before me

Его я вновь воображаю.
I picture that image anew.

Не пой, красавица, при мне
Do not sing, my beauty, to me

Ты песен Грузии печальной;
your sad songs of Georgia;

Напоминают мне оне
they remind me

Другую жизнь и берег дальний.
of that other life and distant shore.

CARL LOEWE Erlkönig, from Drei Balladen
Text by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe / Translation © Richard Wigmore (Oxford)

Wer reitet so spät durch Nacht und Wind?
Who rides so late through the night and wind?

Es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind:
It is the father with his child.

Er hat den Knaben wohl in dem Arm,
He has the boy in his arms;

Er fasst ihn sicher, er hält ihn warm.
he holds him safely, he keeps him warm.

„Mein Sohn, was birgst du so bang dein Gesicht?“
‘My son, why do you hide your face in fear?’

„Siehst, Vater, du den Erlkönig nicht?
Father, can you not see the Erlking?

Den Erlenkönig mit Kron’ und Schweif?“
The Erlking with his crown and tail?’

„Mein Sohn, es ist ein Nebelstreif.“
‘My son, it is a streak of mist.’

„Du liebes Kind, komm, geh mit mir!
‘Sweet child, come with me.

Gar schöne Spiele spiel’ ich mit dir;
I’ll play wonderful games with you.

Manch’ bunte Blumen sind an dem Strand,
Many a pretty flower grows on the shore;

Meine Mutter hat manch gülden Gewand.“
my mother has many a golden robe.’

„Mein Vater, mein Vater, und hörest du nicht,
‘Father, father, do you not hear

Was Erlenkönig mir leise verspricht?“
what the Erlking softly promises me?’

„Sei ruhig, bleibe ruhig, mein Kind:
‘Calm, be calm, my child:

In dürren Blättern säuselt der Wind.“
the wind is rustling in the withered leaves.’

„Willst, feiner Knabe, du mit mir gehn?
‘Won’t you come with me, my fine lad?

Meine Töchter sollen dich warten schön;
My daughters shall wait upon you;

Meine Töchter führen den nächtlichen Rein
my daughters lead the nightly dance,

Und wiegen und tanzen und singen dich ein.“
and will rock you, and dance, and sing you to sleep.’

„Mein Vater, mein Vater, und siehst du nicht dort
‘Father, father, can you not see

Erlkönigs Töchter am düstern Ort?“
Erlking’s daughters there in the darkness?’

„Mein Sohn, mein Sohn, ich seh es genau:
‘My son, my son, I can see clearly:

Es scheinen die alten Weiden so grau.“
it is the old grey willows gleaming.’

„Ich liebe dich, mich reizt deine schöne Gestalt;
‘I love you, your fair form allures me,

Und bist du nicht willig, so brauch ich Gewalt.“
and if you don’t come willingly, I’ll use force.’

„Mein Vater, mein Vater, jetzt fasst er mich an!
‘Father, father, now he’s seizing me!

Erlkönig hat mir ein Leids getan!“
The Erlking has hurt me!’

Dem Vater grausets, er reitet geschwind,
The father shudders, he rides swiftly,

Er hält in Armen das ächzende Kind,
he holds the moaning child in his arms;

Erreicht den Hof mit Mühe und Not:
with one last effort he reaches home;

In seinen Armen das Kind war tot.
the child lay dead in his arms.

PAVEL HAAS I heard the cry of wild geese from Four Songs to the Words of Chinese Poetry
Text by Bohumil Mathesius after Wei Jing-Wu

Domov je tam, daleko, daleko, daleko tam, daleko tam,
My home is there, far away—so far away,

mělo bys domů, zbloudilé srdce! Daleko tam domov, domov.
You ought to go home, lost wandering heart! Far away home.

Za cizí noci, v podzimním dešti, když nejvíc studil
In foreign darkness, autumn rain falling, the coldest moment

smutku chladný van: ve vysokém domě svém
of the sad night: from the height of my strange home

zaslechl jsem křik divokých husí: právě přilétly.
I heard the cry of the wild geese: they’ve just flown in.

Domov je daleko tam.
Home is so far away.

JACQUES IBERT Chanson du depart de Don Quichotte from Chansons de Don Quichotte
Text by Pierre de Ronsard / Translation © Christopher Goldsack

Ce château neuf, ce nouvel édifice
This new castle, this new edifice

Tout enrichi de marbre et de porphyre
all adorned with marble and porphyry,

Qu'amour bâtit château de son empire
this castle, built by love from its empire,

où tout le ciel a mis son artifice,
upon which all of heaven has used its skill,

Est un rempart, un fort contre le vice,
is a rampart, a fortress against evil

Où la vertueuse maîtresse se retire,
where the virtuous mistress retires,

Que l'oeil regarde et que l'esprit admire
that the eye observes and the spirit admires,

Forçant les coeurs à lui faire service.
bringing hearts to servitude.

C'est un château, fait de telle sorte
It is a castle, built in such a way

Que nul ne peut approcher de la porte
that none can approach the portal

Si des grands rois il n'a sauvé sa race
if he has not saved his lineage from the great Kings,

Victorieux, vaillant et amoureux.
victorious, brave and amorous.

Nul chevalier tant soit aventureux
No knight, however adventurous he may be,

Sans être tel ne peut gagner la place.
without being such, can enter the place.

CARLISLE FLOYD For I Am Persuaded from Pilgrimmage
Text from The Bible, Romans 8 & Numbers 6

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life
Nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,
Nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature
Shall be able to separate me from the love of God.

May the Lord bless me and keep me.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon me,
And give me peace.

PERCY GRAINGER Sprig of Thyme from British Folk-Music Settings
Text Traditional British

Wunst I had a sprig of thyme,
It prospered by night and by day
Till a false young man came acourtin' te me,
And he stole all this thyme away.

The gardiner was standiddn by;
I bade him che-oose for me:
He chose me the lily and the violet and the pink,
But I really did refuse them all three.

Thyme it is the prettiest thing,
And time it e will grow on,
And time it'll bring all things to an end
Addend so doz my time grow on.

It's very well drinkin' ale
And it's very well drinkin' wine;
But it's far better sittin' by a young man's side
That has won this heart of mine.

ROBERT SCHUMANN In der Fremde from Liederkreis
Text by Josef von Eichendorff / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Aus der Heimat hinter den Blitzen rot
From my homeland, beyond the red lightning,

Da kommen die Wolken her,
The clouds come drifting in,

Aber Vater und Mutter sind lange tot,
But father and mother have long been dead,

Es kennt mich dort keiner mehr.
Now no one knows me there.

Wie bald, ach wie bald kommt die stille Zeit,
How soon, ah! how soon till that quiet time

Da ruhe ich auch, und über mir
When I too shall rest

Rauscht die schöne Waldeinsamkeit,
Beneath the sweet murmur of lonely woods,

Und keiner kennt mich mehr hier.
Forgotten here as well.

SCHUMANN Frühlingsnacht from Liederkreis
Text by Josef von Eichendorff / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Überm Garten durch die Lüfte
Over the garden, through the air

Hört’ ich Wandervögel zieh’n,
I heard birds of passage fly,

Das bedeutet Frühlingsdüfte,
A sign that spring is in the air,

Unten fängt’s schon an zu blühn.
Flowers already bloom below.

Jauchzen möcht’ ich, möchte weinen,
I could shout for joy, could weep,

Ist mir’s doch, als könnt’s nicht sein!
For it seems to me it cannot be!

Alte Wunder wieder scheinen
All the old wonders come flooding back,

Mit dem Mondesglanz herein.
Gleaming in the moonlight.

Und der Mond, die Sterne sagen’s,
And the moon and stars say it,

Und im Traume rauscht’s der Hain
And the dreaming forest whispers it,

Und die Nachtigallen schlagen’s:
And the nightingales sing it:

Sie ist Deine, sie ist Dein!
‘She is yours, is yours!’

LÁSZLÓ LAJTHA Mikor Csíkból elindultam from 19 Hungarian Folk Songs
Text Traditional / Translation by Peter Lakl

Mikor Csíkból elindultam, jaj,
When I left my beloved Csík, alas,

színem se vót, úgy búsultam, jaj,
The colour drained from my face, that’s how much I grieved, alas.

Kezem fejemre kapcsoltam,
I held my head in my hands, thus I wept for poor Csík, alas.

Szegény Csíkot úgy sirattam, jaj,
Poor Csík thus I wept, alas,

Mikor a falu végire kiérkeztünk, jaj,
When we reached the end of the village, alas,

nagy szomorún viszszanéztünk, jaj,
I looked back with great sadness, alas,

Láttuk sok kémény füstölgését,
We saw the smoke from many chimneys floating upwards, alas,

Felfele lengedezését, jaj,
Upwards floating/swirling, alas,

Mikor Sepsiszentgyörgyre megérkeztünk, jaj,
When we came to St George, alas,

Egy fogadóba mind bémentünk, jaj,
We all entered a tavern, alas,

Elévettük a tarisznyát, Azt a csíki tarkabarkát, jaj,
We got out our multi-coloured shoulder bag from Csík, alas,

De én még enni sem tudtam, Szegény Csíkot úgy sirattam, jaj!
And I grieved for poor Csík so, that I couldn’t eat a mouthful!

BENJAMIN BRITTEN Dink’s Song from American Ballads and Folk Songs
Text Traditional American

If I had wings like Noah’s dove,
I’d fly up river to the man I love.
Fare thee well, o Honey, fare thee well.

Ise got a man, he’s long and tall,
Moves his body like a cannonball,
Fare thee well, o Honey, fare thee well.

When I wo‘ my aprons low,
Couldn’t keep you from my do‘
Fare thee well, o Honey, fare thee well.

Now I wears my aprons high,
Sca’cely ever see you passin‘ by,
Fare thee well, o Honey, fare thee well.

One o‘ these days, it won’t be long,
Call my name an‘ I’ll be gone.
Fare the well, o Honey, fare thee well.

LORI LAITMAN I’m Nobody from Four Dickinson Songs
Text by Emily Dickinson

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one's name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

LAITMAN If.. from Four Dickinson Songs
Text by Emily Dickinson

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK Ó, naší lásce nekvete from Love Songs
Text by Gustav Pfleger-Moravský / Translation © David Beveridge (Oxford)

Ó, naší lásce nekvete
Oh, that longed-for happiness

to vytoužené štěstí.
does not bloom for our love;

A kdyby kvetlo, a kdyby kvetlo, nebude
and if it would bloom, in this world

dlouho, dlouho kvésti.
it would not bloom for long.

Proč by se slza v ohnivé
Why would a tear 

polibky vekrádala?
steal into fiery kisses?

Proč by mne v plné lásce své
Why would you embrace me 

ouzkostně objímala?
in your full love with anxiety?

O, trpké je to loučení,
Oh, bitter is that parting

kde naděj nezahyne.
where hope does not beckon:

Tu srdce cítí ve chvění,
the heart then feels, trembling,

že brzo, ach, brzo bídně zhyne.
that soon in misery it will die.

DVOŘÁK V tak mnohém srdci mrtvo jest from Love Songs
Text by Gustav Pfleger-Moravský / Translation © David Beveridge (Oxford

V tak mnohém srdci mrtvo jest,
So many a heart is as though dead,

jak v temné pustině,
as in a dark wasteland;

v něm na žalost a na bolest,
yea, only for grief and for pain

ba, místa jedině.
does it have room.

Tu klamy lásky horoucí
Then delusions of burning love

v to srdce vstupuje,
enter into that heart,

a srdce žalem prahnoucí,
and the heart, yearning in misery,

to mní, že miluje.
believes that it loves.

A v tomto sladkém domnění
And in this sweet belief

se ještě jednou v ráj
the dead heart once again

to srdce mrtvé promění
transforms itself into a paradise

a zpívá, zpívá, starou báj!
and sings the old tale!

JOHANNES BRAHMS Röslein dreie in der Rheie blühn so rot from Zigeunerlieder,
Text by Hugo Conrat / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Röslein dreie in der Reihe blühn so rot,
Three little red roses bloom side by side,

Daß der Bursch zum Mädel gehe, ist kein Verbot!
It’s no crime for a lad to visit his lass!

Lieber Gott, wenn das verboten wär,
Dear God, if that were a crime,

Ständ die schöne weite Welt schon längst nicht mehr,
This fair wide world would long ago have ceased to exist,

Ledig bleiben Sünde wär!
Staying single would be a sin!

Schönstes Städtchen in Alföld ist Ketschkemet
The loveliest town in Alföld is Kecskemét,

Dort gibt es gar viele Mädchen schmuck und nett!
Where many smart and nice girls live!

Freunde, sucht euch dort ein Bräutchen aus,
Friends, find yourselves a young bride there,

Freit um ihre Hand und gründet euer Haus,
Win her hand and set up house,

Freudenbecher leeret aus!
Drain beakers of joy!

BRAHMS Kommt dir manchmal in den Sinn from Zigeunerlieder
Text by Hugo Conrat / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Kommt dir manchmal in den Sinn,
Do you sometimes recall,

Mein süßes Lieb,
My sweetest,

Was du einst mit heil’gem Eide
What you once pledged to me

Mir gelobt?
With a sacred oath?

Täusch mich nicht, verlaß mich nicht,
Do not deceive me, do not leave me,

Du weißt nicht wie lieb ich dich hab,
You do not know how much I love you,

Lieb du mich, wie ich dich,
Love me as I love you,

Dann strömt Gottes Huld auf dich herab!
And God’s grace will pour down on you!

BRAHMS Rote Abendwolken ziehn from Zigeunerlieder
Text by Hugo Conrat / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Rote Abendwolken ziehn
Red evening clouds drift

Am Firmament,
Across the sky,

Sehnsuchtsvoll nach dir, mein Lieb,
My heart burns longingly

Das Herze brennt;
For you, my love;

Himmel strahlt in glühnder Pracht
The sky’s ablaze in glowing glory

Und ich träum bei Tag und Nacht
And night and day I dream

Nur allein von dem süßen Liebchen mein.
Solely of my sweet love.

Text by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe / Translation © Richard Wigmore (Oxford)

Wie im Morgenglanze
How your glow envelops me 

Du rings mich anglühst,
in the morning radiance, 

Frühling, Geliebter!
spring, my beloved!

Mit tausendfacher Liebeswonne
With love’s thousandfold joy 

Sich an mein Herz drängt
the hallowed sensation

Deiner ewigen Wärme
of your eternal warmth 

Heilig Gefühl,
floods my heart, 

Unendliche Schöne!
infinite beauty!

Dass ich dich fassen möcht’
O that I might clasp you 

In diesen Arm!
in my arms!

Ach, an deinem Busen
Ah, on your breast

Lieg’ ich, schmachte,
I lie languishing,

Und deine Blumen, dein Gras
and your flowers, your grass

Drängen sich an mein Herz.
press close to my heart.

Du kühlst den brennenden
You cool the burning

Durst meines Busens,
thirst within my breast,

Lieblicher Morgenwind!
sweet morning breeze,

Ruft drein die Nachtigall
as the nightingale calls

Liebend mach mir aus dem Nebeltal.
tenderly to me from the misty valley. 

Ich komm’, ich komme!
I come, I come!

Wohin? Ach wohin?
But whither? Ah, whither?

Hinauf! Hinauf strebt’s.
Upwards! Strive upwards! 

Es schweben die Wolken
The clouds drift

Abwärts, die Wolken
down, yielding

Neigen sich der sehnenden Liebe.
to yearning love,

Mir! Mir!
to me, to me!

In euerm Schosse
In your lap,


Umfangend umfangen!
embracing and embraced! 

Aufwärts an deinen Busen,
Upwards to your bosom, 

Alliebender Vater!
all-loving Father!

CLAUDE DEBUSSY Green from Ariettes oubliées
Text by Paul Verlaine / Translation © Richard Stokes

Voici des fruits, des fleurs, des feuilles et des branches
Here are flowers, branches, fruit, and fronds,

Et puis voici mon cœur qui ne bat que pour vous.
And here too is my heart that beats just for you.

Ne le déchirez pas avec vos deux mains blanches
Do not tear it with your two white hands

Et qu’à vos yeux si beaux l’humble présent soit doux.
And may the humble gift please your lovely eyes.

J’arrive tout couvert encore de rosée
I come all covered still with the dew

Que le vent du matin vient glacer à mon front.
Frozen to my brow by the morning breeze.

Souffrez que ma fatigue à vos pieds reposée
Let my fatigue, finding rest at your feet,

Rêve des chers instants qui la délasseront.
Dream of dear moments that will soothe it.

Sur votre jeune sein laissez rouler ma tête
On your young breast let me cradle my head

Toute sonore encore de vos derniers baisers;
Still ringing with your recent kisses;

Laissez-la s’apaiser de la bonne tempête,
After love’s sweet tumult grant it peace,

Et que je dorme un peu puisque vous reposez.
And let me sleep a while, since you rest.

DEBUSSY Il pleure dans mon coeur from Ariettes oubliées
Text by Paul Verlaine / Translation © Richard Stokes

Il pleure dans mon cœur
Tears fall in my heart

Comme il pleut sur la ville;
As rain falls on the town;

Quelle est cette langueur
What is this torpor

Qui pénètre mon cœur?
Pervading my heart?

Ô bruit doux de la pluie
Ah, the soft sound of rain

Par terre et sur les toits!
On the ground and roofs!

Pour un cœur qui s’ennuie
For a listless heart,

Ô le bruit de la pluie!
Ah, the sound of the rain!

Il pleure sans raison
Tears fall without reason

Dans ce cœur qui s’écœure.
In this disheartened heart.

Quoi! nulle trahison? …
What! Was there no treason? …

Ce deuil est sans raison.
This grief’s without reason.

C’est bien la pire peine
And the worst pain of all

De ne savoir pourquoi
Must be not to know why

Sans amour et sans haine,
Without love and without hate

Mon cœur a tant de peine.
My heart feels such pain.

Text by Louisa May Alcott

My “Bess,” the dust is nearly swept
away from your beloved name,
As if by eyes that often wept,
by tender hands that often came.

Death canonized for us one saint,
meek soul, half human, half divine;
and still we touch with loving plaint
the relics in this household shrine.

The needle once too heavy grown,
the little cap which last she wore,
the sweet Saint Cath’rine that shone
through the long nights above the door;

the lamp unlighted since she left
her fragile prison-house of pain,
the sad lament of those bereft,
in the drip of the summer rain.

FRANCIS POULENC Le présent from Trois Poèmes de Louise Lalanne
Text by Louise Lalanne / Translation © Bertram Kottmann (LiederNet)

Si tu veux je te donnerai
If you wish I'll give to you

Mon matin, mon matin gai
my morning, my bright morning

Avec tous mes clairs cheveux
with all my light hair

Que tu aimes ;
    that  you love;

Mes yeux verts
    my eyes, green

Et dorés
    and golden,

Si tu veux.
    if you wish.

Je te donnerai tout le bruit
I will give you all the sounds

Qui se fait
    of the

Quand le matin s'éveille
    morning awakening

Au soleil
    to the sun

Et l'eau qui coule
    and flowing water

Dans la fontaine
    in the fountain

Tout auprès;

Et puis encor le soir qui viendra vite.
And then also the evening which will come quickly.

Le soir de mon âme triste
The night of my soul

A pleurer
    sad and full of tears

Et mes mains toutes petites
and my tiny hands

Avec mon cœur qu'il faudra près du tien
with my heart that needs to be close to yours

to keep.

HUGO WOLF Storchenbotschaft from Mörike-Lieder
Text by Eduard Mörike / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Des Schäfers sein Haus und das steht auf zwei Rad,
The shepherd’s house stands on two wheels,

Steht hoch auf der Heiden, so frühe wie spat;
High on the moor, morning and night,

Und wenn nur ein mancher so’n Nachtquartier hätt!
A lodging most would be glad of!

Ein Schäfer tauscht nicht mit dem König sein Bett.
No shepherd would change his bed with a king.

Und käm ihm zu Nacht auch was Seltsames vor,
And should by night any strange thing occur,

Er betet sein Sprüchel und legt sich aufs Ohr;
He prays a brief prayer and lies down to sleep;

Ein Geistlein, ein Hexlein, so lustige Wicht,
A ghost, a witch, some airy creature – 

Sie klopfen ihm wohl, doch er antwortet nicht.
They might come knocking, but he’ll not answer.

Einmal doch, da ward es ihm wirklich zu bunt:
But one night it really became too much:

Es knopert am Laden, es winselt der Hund;
A tap on the shutters, a whine from the dog;

Nun ziehet mein Schäfer den Riegel – ei schau!
So my shepherd unbolts – lo and behold!

Da stehen zwei Störche, der Mann und die Frau.
Two storks stand there, a husband and wife.

Das Pärchen, es machet ein schön Kompliment,
The couple, they make a beautiful bow,

Es möchte gern reden, ach, wenn es nur könnt!
They’d like to speak, if only they could!

Was will mir das Ziefer! – ist so was erhört?
What can these feathered friends want of me! Whoever heard the like?

Doch ist mir wohl fröhliche Botschaft beschert.
They must have joyful tidings for me.

Ihr seid wohl dahinten zu Hause am Rhein?
You live over there, down by the Rhine?

Ihr habt wohl mein Mädel gebissen ins Bein?
I guess you’ve paid my girl a visit?

Nun weinet das Kind und die Mutter noch mehr,
The child’s now crying, the mother even louder,

Sie wünschet den Herzallerliebsten sich her?
She wants her sweetheart by her side?

Und wünschet daneben die Taufe bestellt:
And wants the christening feast arranged:

Ein Lämmlein, ein Würstlein, ein Beutelein Geld?
A lambkin, a sausage, a purse of money?

So sagt nur, ich käm in zwei Tag’ oder drei,
Well, tell her I’m coming in two days or three,

Und grüßt mir mein Bübel und rührt ihm den Brei!
Say hello to my boy, give his pap a stir!

Doch halt! warum stellt ihr zu zweien euch ein?
But wait! Why have two of you come?

Es werden doch, hoff ich, nicht Zwillinge sein? –
It can’t, I hope, be a case of twins? – 

Da klappern die Störche im lustigsten Ton,
At that the stork clatter most merrily

Sie nicken und knixen und fliegen davon.
They nod and curtsey and fly away.

TOM CIPULLO Crickets from Late Summer
Text by William Heyen

Evenings, where lawns are not sprayed with poisons,
you can still hear the crickets,
you can still see lightning bugs signalling,

look, a yellowgreen strobe under the trees,
but gone, but there again, sometimes
in the same spot, and sometimes not,

as the tiny purveyors of phosphor
drift past our houses, looking
for one another, and the crickets,

crickets, crickets, the ones that still
have their legs, keep scraping them together,
listen, maybe for the last time on earth, listen. . . .

FRANCIS POULENC Fêtes galantes from Deux Poèmes de Louis Aragon
Text by Louis Aragon / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

On voit des marquis sur des bicyclettes
You see fops on cycles

On voit des marlous en cheval-jupon
You see pimps in kilts

On voit des morveux avec des voilettes
You see whipper-snappers with veils

On voit les pompiers brûler les pompons
You see firemen burning their pompoms

On voit des mots jetés à la voirie
You see words hurled on the garbage heap

On voit des mots élevés au pavois
You see words praised to the skies

On voit les pieds des enfants de Marie
You see the feet of orphan children

On voit le dos des diseuses à voix
You see the backs of cabaret singers

On voit des voitures à gazogène
You see cars run on gazogene

On voit aussi des voutures à bras
You see handcarts too

On voit des lascars que les longs nez gênent
You see sly fellows hindered by long noses

On voit des coïons de dix-huit carats
You see unmitigated idiots

On voit ici ce que l’on voit ailleurs
You see here what you see everywhere

On voit des demoiselles dévoyées
You see girls who are led astray

On voit des voyous On voit des voyeurs
You see guttersnipes you see Peeping Toms

On voit sous les ponts passer des noyés
You see drowned corpses float beneath bridges

On voit chômer les marchands de chaussures
You see out-of-work shoemakers

On voit mourir d’ennui les mireurs d’œufs
You see egg-candlers bored to death

On voit péricliter les valeurs sûres
You see securities tumble

Et fuir la vie à la six-quatre-deux
And life rushing pell-mell by.

RICHARD STRAUSS Befreit from Fünf Lieder

Du wirst nicht weinen. Leise, leise
You will not weep. Gently, gently

wirst du lächeln und wie zur Reise
you will smile; and as before a journey

geb’ ich dir Blick und Kuß zurück.
I shall return your gaze and kiss.

Unsre lieben vier Wände, du hast sie bereitet,
You have cared for the room we love!

ich habe sie dir zur Welt geweitet;
I have widened these four walls for you into a world – 

O Glück!
O happiness!

Dann wirst du heiß meine Hände fassen
Then ardently you will seize my hands 

und wirst mir deine Seele lassen,
and you will leave me your soul,

läßt unsern Kindern mich zurück.
leave me to care for our children.

Du schenktest mir dein ganzes Leben,
You gave your whole life to me,

ich will es ihnen wieder geben;
I shall give it back to them – 

O Glück!
O happiness!

Es wird sehr bald sein, wir wissen’s beide,
It will be very soon, we both know it,

wir haben einander befreit vom Leide,
we have released each other from suffering, 

so gab’ ich dich der Welt zurück!
so I returned you to the world.

Dann wirst du mir nur noch im Traum erscheinen
Then you’ll appear to me only in dreams, 

und mich segnen und mit mir weinen;
and you will bless me and weep with me –

O Glück!
O happiness!

JOHANNES BRAHMS Denn es gehet dem Menschen from Vier ernste Gesänge
Text from The Bible (Ecclesiastes 3) / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Denn es gehet dem Menschen wie dem Vieh;
For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts;

wie dies stirbt, so stirbt er auch;
as the one dieth, so dieth the other;

und haben alle einerlei Odem;
yea, they have all one breath;

und der Mensch hat nichts mehr denn das Vieh:
so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast;

denn es ist alles eitel.
for all is vanity. 

Es fährt alles an einen Ort;
All go unto one place;

es ist alles von Staub gemacht, und wird wieder zu Staub.
all are of dust, and all turn to dust again.

Wer weiß, ob der Geist des Menschen aufwärts fahre,
Who knoweth the spirit of man [...] goeth upward 

und der Odem des Viehes unterwärts unter die Erde fahre?
and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

Darum sahe ich, daß nichts bessers ist,
Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, 

denn daß der Mensch fröhlich sei in seiner Arbeit,
than that a man should rejoice in his own works,

denn das ist sein Teil.
for that is his portion.

Denn wer will ihn dahin bringen, daß er sehe, was nach ihm geschehen wird?
For who shall bring him to see what shall happen after him?

WILLIAM BOLCOM Lady Death from Old Addresses
Text by A.D. Winans

she holds the trump card
in a fixed game
she brought the iron man
lou gehrig to his knees
mocked babe ruth
at home plate
she skulks around
the circus grounds
looking for an accident
to happen

she was the last person
at the Alamo
she fed lorca a meal
of bullets
she waited table
at the last supper
she hired the barber
who cut samson’s hair
she was the last
roman soldier at the
she tricked custer
into thinking he was
she’s harder than
a pimp
she’s cunning
she’s cruel
she’s after me
she’s after you
she wears a top hat
she carries a cane
her eyes a dagger
aimed at your heart

BRAHMS O Tod, wie bitter bist du from Vier ernste Gesänge
Text from The Bible (Sirach 41) / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

O Tod, wie bitter bist du, wenn an dich gedenket ein Mensch,
O death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man 

Der gute Tage und genug hat
that liveth at rest in his possessions,

Und ohne Sorge lebet;
unto the man that hath nothing to vex him, 

Und dem es wohl geht in allen Dingen
and that hath prosperity in all things;

Und noch wohl essen mag!
yea, unto him that is yet able to receive meat!

O Tod, wie wohl tust du dem Dürftigen,
O death, acceptable is thy sentence unto the needy and unto him whose strength faileth,

Der da schwach und alt ist,
that is now in the last age,

Der in allen Sorgen steckt,
and is vexed with all things,

Und nichts Bessers zu hoffen,
and to him that despaireth,

Noch zu erwarten hat!
and hath lost patience!

Translation by Eunsung Lee

Glittering and dazzling
Your beautiful wings.

Flying away from my heart;
Take me back to your bosom along with my dewy sorrow.

Your tender scent faintly remained,
‘Tis not returning to my heart.

Love me as I am near,
Only if I am who you remember.

Alas, lasting longing,
Even if I wipe it off with cold tears.

I am waiting, my long-lasting love.

Let your lingering feeling go
And rest in peace.

Please remember me,
Even if there is nothing left to remember.

Even my breath and tears,
I dedicate everything to you.

JOHANNES BRAHMS Wie Melodien zieht es mir from Fünf Lieder
Text by Klaus Groth / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Wie Melodien zieht es
Thoughts, like melodies,

Mir leise durch den Sinn,
Steal softly through my mind,

Wie Frühlingsblumen blüht es
Like spring flowers they blossom

Und schwebt wie Duft dahin.
And drift away like fragrance.

Doch kommt das Wort und faßt es
Yet when words come and capture them

Und führt es vor das Aug’,
And bring them before my eyes,

Wie Nebelgrau erblaßt es
They turn pale like grey mist

Und schwindet wie ein Hauch.
And vanish like a breath.

Und dennoch ruht im Reime
Yet surely in rhyme

Verborgen wohl ein Duft,
A fragrance lies hidden,

Den mild aus stillem Keime
Summoned by moist eyes

Ein feuchtes Auge ruft.
From the silent seed.


YI ZHOU Hairpin Phoenix (钗头凤)

Pink hands so fine,

Gold-branded wine,

Spring paints green willows palace walls cannot confine.

East wind unfair,

Happy times rare.

In my heart sad thoughts throng:

We've severed for years long.

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Spring is as green

In vain she's lean

Her silk scarf soak'd with tears and red with stains unclean

Peach blossoms fall

Near desert'd hall.

Our oath is still there, lo!

No word to her can go.

No, no, no!

Text by Pierre de Ronsard / Translation © Faith J. Cormier for LiederNet

Mignonn', allon voir si la rose
Sweetheart, let us see if the rose

Qui ce matin avoit declose
that only this morning unfolded

Sa robe de pourpr' au soleil,
its scarlet dress in the sun

A point perdu, cette vesprée,
has lost, at vesper-time,

Le plis de sa robe pourprée,
the folds of its scarlet dress

Et son teint au vostre pareil.
and its colour, so like yours.

Las, voyés comm' en peu d'espace,
Alas! See how rapidly,

Mignonn', ell' a dessus la place,
Sweetheart, she has let

Las, las, ses beautés laissé cheoir!
her beauty fall all over the place!

Ô vrayement maratre nature,
Nature is truly a cruel stepmother

Puis qu'une telle fleur ne dure,
when such a flower only lasts

Que du matin jusques au soir!
from dawn to dusk!

Donc, si vous me croiés, mignonne:
So if you hear me, Sweetheart,

Tandis que vostr' age fleuronne
while your age flowers

En sa plus verte nouveauté,
in its greenest newness,

Cueillés, cueillés vostre jeunesse,
gather, gather your youth.

Comm' à cette fleur, la viellesse
Age will tarnish your beauty

Fera ternir vostre beauté.
as it has faded this flower.

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS The Roadside Fire from Songs of Travel
Text by Robert Louis Stevenson

I will make you brooches and toys for your delight
Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night,
I will make a palace fit for you and me
Of green days in forests, and blue days at sea.

I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room,
Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom;
And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white
In rainfall at morning and dewfall at night.

And this shall be for music when no one else is near,
The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear!
That only I remember, that only you admire,
Of the broad road that stretches and the roadside fire.

PYOTR IL’YICH TCHAIKOVSKY Reconciliation from 6 Romances
Text by Nikolay Fyodorovich Shcherbina / Translation © Philip Ross Bullock (Oxford)

О, засни, моё сердце, глубоко!
Oh sleep, my heart, sleep deeply!

Не буди: - не пробудишь, что было,
Do not try to wake the past,

Не зови, что умчалось далёко,
Do not summon what has fled far away,

Не люби, что ты прежде любило...
Do not love what you once loved…

Пусть надеждой и лживой мечтой
Let not hope and vain dreams

Не смутится твой сон и покой!
Trouble your sleep and rest!

Для тебя невозвратно былое,
You cannot bring back the past,

На грядущее нет упованья...
And the future holds no consolation…

Ты не знало в блаженстве покоя,
Bliss offered you no restfulness,

Успокойся ж на ложе страданья,
So take solace on the couch of suffering,

И старайся не помнить зимой,
And try not to recall in winter,

Как срывало ты розы весной!
How you gathered roses in spring!

Text by Heinrich Hart / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

Wenn Du es wüßtest,
If you knew

Was träumen heißt
What it is to dream

Von brennenden Küssen,
Of burning kisses,

Vom Wandern und Ruhen
Of walking and resting

Mit der Geliebten,
With one’s love,

Aug’ in Auge,
Gazing at each other

Und kosend und plaudernd –
And caressing and talking –

Wenn Du es wüßtest,
If you knew,

Du neigtest Dein Herz!
Your heart would turn to me.

Wenn Du es wüßtest,
If you knew

Was bangen heißt
What it is to worry

In einsamen Nächten,
On lonely nights

Umschauert vom Sturm,
In the frightening storm,

Da Niemand tröstet
With no soft voice

Milden Mundes
To comfort

Die kampfmüde Seele –
The struggle-weary soul –

Wenn Du es wüßtest,
If you knew,

Du kämest zu mir.
You would come to me.

Wenn Du es wüßtest,
If you knew

Was leben heißt,
What it is to live

Umhaucht von der Gottheit
Enveloped in God’s

Weltschaffendem Atem,
World-creating breath,

Zu schweben empor,
To soar upwards,

Borne on light

Zu seligen Höh’en,
To blessed heights –

Wenn Du es wüßtest,
If you knew,

Du lebtest mit mir.
You would live with me.

Text by Carlo Pepoli, Conte

Era la notte, e presso di Colei
It was night, and beside Her

Che sola al cor mi giunse e vi sta sola,
Who alone reached my heart and there remains alone,

Con quel pianger che rompe la parola,
With those tears that impede words

Io pregava mercede a martir miei.
I pleaded for pity on my anguish.

Quand' Ella, chinando gli occhi bei,
When She, lowering her lovely eyes,

Disse (e il membrarlo sol me, da me invola):
Said (the mere memory of it makes my head whirl):

Ponmi al cor la tua destra, e ti consola:
"Place your hand on my heart, and be consoled:

Ch'io amo e te sol' amo intender dei,
You should know that I love you and you alone",

Poi fatta, per amor, tremante e bianca,
This said from love, pale and trembling,

In atto soävissimo mi pose
In the sweetest of acts she leaned

La bella faccia sulla spalla manca.
Her lovely face on my left shoulder.

Se dopo il dole assai più duol l'amaro;
Even if, after this bliss, grief was far more bitter,

Se per me nullo istante a quel rispose,
Even if; for me, no moment matched this,

Ah! quant' era in quell' ora il morir caro!
Ah! how dear was dying in that hour!

CLAUDE DEBUSSY C’est l’extase langoureuse from Ariettes Oubliées
Text by Paul Verlaine / Translation © Richard Stokes (Oxford)

C’est l’extase langoureuse,
It is languorous rapture,

C’est la fatigue amoureuse,
It is amorous fatigue,

C’est tous les frissons des bois
It is all the tremors of the forest

Parmi l’étreinte des brises,
In the breezes’ embrace,

C’est, vers les ramures grises,
It is, around the grey branches,

Le chœur des petites voix.
The choir of tiny voices.

Ô le frêle et frais murmure!
O the delicate, fresh murmuring!

Cela gazouille et susurre,
The warbling and whispering,

Cela ressemble au cri doux
It is like the soft cry

Que l’herbe agitée expire …
The ruffled grass gives out …

Tu dirais, sous l’eau qui vire,
You might take it for the muffled sound

Le roulis sourd des cailloux.
Of pebbles in the swirling stream.

Cette âme qui se lamente
This soul which grieves

En cette plainte dormante
In this subdued lament,

C’est la nôtre, n’est-ce pas?
It is ours, is it not?

La mienne, dis, et la tienne,
Mine, and yours too,

Dont s’exhale l’humble antienne
Breathing out our humble hymn

Par ce tiède soir, tout bas?
On this warm evening, soft and low?

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF Do Not Believe it, my Friend from Twelve Romances
Text by Arseny Arkad'yevich Golenishchev-Kutuzov / Translation © Jennifer Gliere (LiederNet)

Давно-ль, мой друг, твой взор печальный
Has it been so long, my friend, since I caught

Я в расставанья смутный миг ловил.
your sad gaze at our farewell moment?

Чтоб луч его прощальный
The ray of that farewell

Надолго в душу мне проник.
penetrated my soul.

Давно-ль, блуждая одиноко,
Has it been so long, my friend, since, blundering alone

В толпе теснящей и чужой
in a constricting and strange crowd,

К тебе желанной и далекой
I rushed to you, distant beloved,

Я мчался грустною мечтой.
In a sad dream?

Желанья гасли... Сердце ныло...
My desires faded… my heart ached…

Стояло время... Ум молчал...
Time stopped… my mind was numb…

Давно-ль затишье это было?
Has it been so long ago, this calm?

Но вихрь свиданья набежал...
But a whirlwind of reunion came rushing…

Мы вместе вновь, и дни несутся,
We are together anew, and the days rush along

Как в море волн летучих строй,
As in a flying sea of waves, and thoughts boil

И мысль кипит, и песни льются

And songs pour forth from my heart

Из сердца, полного тобой!
Brimming over with thoughts of you!

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF “Oh no, I beg you, forsake me not!” from Six Romances
Text by Dmitry Sergeyevich Merezhkovsky / Translation © by Anton Bespalov and Rianne Stam (LiederNet Archive)

О, нет, молю, не уходи!
O, no, I beg you, forsake me not!

Вся боль ничто перед разлукой,
All my pains are nothing compared to separation

Я слишком счастлив
I am only too fortunate

Этой мукой,
with that torment,

Сильней прижми меня к груди,
Press me tightly to your bosom

Скажи люблю.
and say you love me.

Пришёл я вновь,
I came anew

Больной, измученный и бледный.
full of pain, pale and exhausted.

Смотри, какой я слабый, бедный,
See how poor and weak I am,

Как мне нужна твоя любовь...
how I need your love...

Мучений новых впереди
The new torments ahead

Я жду как ласку, как поцелуя,
I await like a caress or kiss,

И об одном молю, тоскуя:
and again I beg you in anguish:

О, будь со мной, не уходи!
O stay with me, forsake me not!

RACHMANINOFF In the silence of the secret night from Six Romances
Text by Afanasy Afanas'yevich Fet / Translation © Sergey Rybin (LiederNet)

О, долго буду я, в молчаньи ночи тайной,
Oh, for a long while, in the silence of the mysterious night,

Коварный лепет твой, улыбку, взор случайный,
Your beguiling murmur, smile, fleeting glance,

Перстам послушную волос, волос твоих густую прядь,
A luscious strand of your hair, obedient to my fingers,

Из мыслей изгонять, и снова призывать;
Will I banish from my thoughts - but then recall again;

Дыша порывисто, один, никем не зримый,
Breathing impulsively, alone, unseen by anyone,

Досады и стыда румянами палимый,
Blushing and burning with vexation and shame,

Искать хотя одной загадочной черты
I will search for secret messages

В словах, которые произносила ты;
In the words you uttered;

Шептать и поправлять былые выраженья
Whisper and reconsider the phrases

Речей моих с тобой, исполненных смущенья,
Of my embarrassed conversations with you,

И в опьянении, наперекор уму
And, as if intoxicated, against all reason,

Заветным именем будить ночную тьму
With your cherished name awaken the nightly darkness


Wir sind in Zorn und Unverstand
We are in anger and in ignorance

Wie Kinder tun, geshieden
How children do, divorced

Und haben uns gemieden,
and avoided us

Von bolder Scham gebannt.
Banned by bolder shame.

Die Jahre gingen drüber her
The years passed

Mit Reuen und mit Warten.
With regrets and with waiting.

In unsern Jugendgarten
In our youth garden

Führt keine Strasse mehr.
There is no longer a road.

FRANCIS POULENC “Ver le sud” from Calligrammes
Text by Guillaume Apollinaire


Tous ces regrets
all these regrets

Ces jardins sans limite
these unbounded gardens

Où le crapaud module un tendre cri d'azur
in which the toad modulates a tender azure cry

La biche du silence éperdu passe vite
the doe of the bewildered silence passes quickly by

Un rossignol meurtri par l'amour chante sur
a nightingale bruised by love sings upon

Le rosier de ton corps dont j'ai cueilli
the rose bush of your body from which I have

les roses
gathered the roses

Nos cœurs pendent ensemble au même
our hearts hang side by side from the same

pomegranate tree

Et les fleurs de granade en nos regards écloses
and opened in our view the pomegranate flowers

En tombant tour à tour ont jonché le sentier
falling one by one have strewn the path

POULENC Il pleut from Calligrammes
Text by Guillaume Apollinaire

Il pleut des voix de femmes comme si elles
It is raining women's voices as if they

étaient mortes même dans le souvenir
were dead even in one's memory

c'est vous aussi qu'il pleut merveilleuses
it is also you that it is raining wonderful

recontres de ma vie ô goutelettes
encounters of my life o droplets

et ces nauges cabrés se prennent à hennir
and these rearing clouds begin to neigh

tout un univers de villes auriculaires
a whole universe of auricular cities

écoute s'il pleut tandis que le regret
listen for whether it is raining whilst regret

et le dédain pleurent une ancienne musiqu
e and disdain weep an ancient music

écoute tomber les liens qui te retiennent
listen to the bonds which support you

en haut et en bas
from above and below falling

GERALD FINZI Fear no more the heat o' the sun from Let Us Garlands Bring
Text by William Shakespeare

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o’ the great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The scepter, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have;
And renownèd be thy grave!

Text by Ada Negri / Translation © Thomas A. Gregg (LiederNet)

Soffro, lontan lontano
I suffer. Far, far away

Le nebbie sonnolente
the sleeping mists

Salgono dal tacente piano.
rise from the silent plain.

Alto gracchiando, i corvi,
Shrilling cawing, the crows,

Fidati all'ali nere,
trusting their black wings

Traversan le brughiere torvi.
cross the heath grimly.

Dell'aere ai morsi crudi
To the raw weathering of the air

Gli addolorati tronchi
the sorrowful tree trunks

Offron, pregando, i bronchi nudi.
offer, praying, their bare branches.

Come ho freddo!... Son sola;
How cold am I! I am alone;

Pel grigio ciel sospinto
driven through the gray sky

Un gemito destinto vola;
a wail of extinction flies;

E mi ripete: Vieni,
And repeats to me: come,

È buia la vallata.
the valley is dark.

O triste, o disamata,
Oh sad, oh unloved one,

Come! Come!

Text by Edouard Guinand

Tu m’as trahie!
You betrayed me!

Et pourtant je t’aimais!
And yet I loved you!

Et sous les cieux
And under the skies

Nulle autre femme au monde,
No other woman in the world,

Dans l’adoré n’eut de foi si profonde.
In the adored had no such deep faith.

On peut chérir autant, mais plus, jamais!
One can cherish as much, but more, never!

Tu m’as trahie!
You betrayed me!

Et dans la forêt verte,
And in the green forest,

Dan la forêt comme à la plaine
In the forest as in the plain

Où finit le chemin,
where the path ends,

Tout sait l’ardeur de ta main dans ma main,
Everything knows the ardor of your hand in my hand,

et les serments de ta lèvre entr’ouverte.
and the oaths of your half-open lips.

Tu m’as trahie!
You betrayed me!

Et tu n’ignorais pas
And you didn't ignore

Ce que seraient mon deuil et ma souffrance,
What would be my mourning and my suffering,

et qu bien tôt mon unique espérance,
and that soon my only hope,

Ne t’ayant plus, serait dans le trépas!
Not having you anymore, would be in death!

Tu m’as trahie!
You betrayed me!

Ah! Que Dieu te pardonne!
Ah! God forgive you!

En cet instant où mon jour va finir,
At this moment when my day is about to end,

Vers toi j’envois un dernier souvenir;
To you I send a last memory;

Gardele bien! C’est mon cœur qui le donne!
Keep it well! My heart gives it!

Tu m’as trahie!
You betrayed me!

Ah! Que Dieu te pardonne!
Ah! God forgive you!

FRANCESCO PAOLO TOSTI Or dunque addio from Malinconia
Text by Gabriele D'Annunzio

Or dunque addio! Con le pupille ardenti
So farewell! If flashing eyes, which

che mi pioveano in cor fiamme ed oblío,
Could burn my heart, flare up and die...

con le dolci pupille ancor mi tenti
If sweet regards in vain

inutilmente: addio!
try to tempt me: farewell!

Or che l'autunno muore, or che di noia
If autumn dies, if all sorrows

pallido è il cielo, e lugubre il cipresso
Fade away like the sky, and the cypresses'

regna su 'l colle inseminato, or muoia,
dark silhouette rises on the fertile hill, then dies

muoia l'amore anch'esso!
then dies the exhausted love.

Ahi! senza te sarà un'atroce smania
Oh! Without you my life will be

la vita mia; ma nel mio freddo aspetto
A terrible disaster, but in my lack-lustre existence

non vedrai quanto spasimo dilania
I won't even notice when excruciating pain

il mio superbo petto.
Tears me apart.

Oh! potess'io, freddissima ed inerte
Oh, my zest for life, you are cold and lifeless now

come l'inverno che avviluppa il mondo,
Like the wintertime, which enfolds the world and

trascorrere le lunghe ore deserte
Covers plains and deserts

in un oblío profondo;
In deep oblivion.

e dileguarmi inconsciamente, al pari
And I perish imperceptibly, like the ship

di rotta nave abbondonata a l'onda,
Following its lonely course across the waves,

che a poco a poco pe 'i silenti mari
little by little disappearing on the silent sea,

dilungasi e sprofonda.
Eventually absorbed by the horizon.

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF All things pass away from Fifteen Romances
Text by Daniil Maximovich Rathaus

Проходит все, и нет к нему возврата.
All things depart, no single thing returns.

Жизнь мчится вдаль, мгновения быстрей.
Life hurries on, like moments as they pass.

Где звуки слов, звучавших нам когда-то?
Words uttered once find echo in oblivion.

Где свет зари нас озарявших дней?
The dawn of yesterday, who shall recall?

Расцвел цветок, а завтра он увянет.
A flower grows, its petals soon are faded.

Горит огонь, чтоб вскоре отгореть...
The flame may flare, and glowing cease to burn…

Идет волна, над ней другая встанет...
The waters roll, the current bears them onward…

Я не могу веселых песень петь!
So in my song the bloom of joy is dead!

UNDINE SMITH MOORE Love let the wind cry
Text by Sappho

Love let the wind cry
On the dark mountain,
Bending the ash trees
And the tall hemlocks
With the great voice of
Thunderous legions,
How I adore thee.

Let the hoarse torrent
In the blue canyon,
Murmuring mightily
Out of the gray mist
Of primal chaos
Cease not proclaiming
How I adore thee.

Let the long rhythm
Of crunching rollers,
Breaking and bursting
On the white seaboard
Titan and tireless,
Tell, while the world stands,
How I adore thee.

Love, let the clear call
Of the tree cricket,
Frailest of creatures,
Green as the young grass,
Mark with his trilling
Resonant bell-note,
How I adore thee.

Let the glad lark-song
Over the meadow,
That melting lyric
Of molten silver,
Be for a signal
To listening mortals,
How I adore thee.

But, more than all sounds,
Surer, serener,
Fuller of passion
And exultation,
Let the hushed whisper
In thine own heart say,
How I adore thee.

AUGUSTA HOLMÈS La Gloire from Les Sept Ivresses
Text by Augusta Holmès

Que veulent ces cris?
What do these cries want?

Quelle est cette foule,
What is this crowd,

Qui jusqu'à mes pieds comme un fleuve roule,
Who down to my feet like a river rolls,

Faisant écumer sur sa claire houle
Frothing on its clear swell

Des gerbes de fleurs?
Wreathes of flowers?

J'entends des hourras et je vois des pleurs!
I hear cheers and I see tears!

Quel mot retentit en folles clameurs,
What word resounds in mad shouts,

Se mêlant aux voix d'innombrables chœurs,
Blended with the voice of innumerable choirs,

Que scandent la lyre!
Chanted by the lyre!

C'est mon nom! Le peuple en délire
It is my name! The delirious people

Les rois prosternés, tous, peuvent lire
The prostrate kings, all, can read

Aux cieux éclatants que l'aube déchire,
To the bright skies that dawn tears,

Mon nom adoré!
My adored name!

Ah ! plus loin, plus haut, vers l'Ether sacré,
Ah! Farther, higher, toward the sacred ether,

D'un sublime élan je m'emporterai
With a sublime momentum I carry myself away

Si bien que, vivant, j'aurai pénétré
So that, alive, I will have penetrated

L'éternel mystère!
The eternal mystery!

Oui, c'est le nectar qui me désaltère,
Yes, it is the nectar that quenches my thirst

Le Nimbe élargit mon front radieux,
The nimbus broadens my radiant brow,

Et je suis assis loin de l'humble terre,
And I sit far from the humble earth,

Plus haut que les dieux!
Higher than the gods!

RICHARD STRAUSS Wie erkenn' ich mein Treulieb from Drei Lieder der Ophelia
Text by William Shakespeare

Wie erkenn’ ich mein Treulieb
How shall I know my true love

Vor andern nun?
From others now?

An dem Muschelhut und Stab
By his cockle hat and staff

Und den Sandalschuh’n.
And his sandal shoes.

Er ist tot und lange hin,
He is dead and long gone,

Tot und hin, Fräulein.
Dead and gone, lady!

Ihm zu Häupten grünes Gras,
At his head green grass,

Ihm zu Fuß ein Stein.—O, ho!
At his feet a stone. O, ho!

Auf seinem Bahrtuch, weiß wie Schnee,
On his shroud white as snow

Viel liebe Blumen trauern:
Many sweet flowers mourn.

Sie gehn zu Grabe naß, o weh,
They’ll go wet to the grave, alas,

Vor Liebesschauern.
Wet with love’s showers.

STRAUSS Guten Morgen, 's ist Sankt Valentinstag
Text by William Shakespeare

Guten Morgen, ’s ist Sankt Valentinstag,
Good morning, it’s St Valentine’s Day,

So früh vor Sonnenschein
So early before sunrise.

Ich junge Maid am Fensterschlag
I, young maid at the window,

Will euer Valentin sein.
Shall be your Valentine.

Der junge Mann tut Hosen an,
The young man put trousers on,

Tät auf die Kammertür
Opened up the chamber door,

Ließ ein die Maid, die als Maid
Let in the maid who as a maid

Ging nimmermehr herfür.
Departed nevermore.

Bei Sankt Niklas und Charitas,
By St Nicholas and Charity,

Ein unverschämt Geschlecht!
What a shameless breed!

Ein junger Mann tut’s wenn er kann,
A young man does it when he can,

Fürwahr, das ist nicht recht.
Which is, forsooth, not right.

Sie sprach: Eh’ ihr gescherzt mit mir,
She said: before you trifled with me,

Verspracht ihr mich zu frei’n.
You promised to marry me.

Ich bräch’s auch nicht, bei’m Sonnenlicht!
I’d not, by sunlight! have broken my word,

Wär’st du nicht kommen herein.
If you had not come in.

JONATHAN DOVE The Siren from All the Future Days
Text by Ursula Vaughan Williams

And if I sing
along these coral beaches till the caves
hold echoes murmuring
in every rise and fall of summer waves
clear as iris, curved as swallow's wing,
perfection to perfection answering,
it is of grief, a shadow of lost joy.
My silver tears fall from a ceaseless spring.

An angel, torn from heaven, defeated in the sky,
still lit by glory and still winged with flame,
in reckless beauty for the world to tame,
fell where my island basks on outspread sea,
by bastions of a city crowned with towers,
and terraced vineyards, tapestries of flowers,
down to blue valleys where my orchards lie.

Here mortal love was shelter for a day;
peace in my arms was healing for lost pride;
soon his light faded and his wings fell wide —
O wounded splendour journeying to death —
And even the memory of paradise
sank into silence, withered from deep eyes,
as like the shadowed moon he waned away.

But memory wears the blazon of his wing,
gathering me to limbs of fire and dew,
a birth of joy and grief wherein I knew
celestial language, voice of wind and star.
By light transfigured and by shadow slain
these are the songs of heaven I sing again,
mourning his beauty.
Mourning his beauty of my love I sing.

Singing I weep,
yet bright enchantment falls upon the sea
where the waves reap
their harvest of wrecked ships eternally,
for listening steersmen lose the course they keep,
forget the rocks and drown cold fathoms deep.
For none can share my joy or touch my grief.
I sing for ever and for ever weep

Artists & Adjudicators